For people who like public transportation in Chicago, good news and bad news.
I'm Charlie Meyerson with your Chicago Public Square Newscast.
With a digitized video and a soundtrack to boot, the CTA has unveiled concept drawings for a train station that'll close one of the biggest gaps in its L network: The Damen station on the Green Line, scheduled to open in 2020. It'll go between the existing California and Ashland stops, shortening the walk from the Green Line to the United Center—and, or so the city hopes, providing more fuel for redevelopment of Chicago's Near West Side.
But those cheering transit options that don't involve automobiles have one fewer reason to be cheerful now: Ofo, a Chinese-based company that is one of several who've launched bike-sharing services in Chicago … is pulling out. Ofo says the city's unique rules, requiring all shared bikes have the ability to lock to a stationary object—instead of just being left anywhere, unlockable with an app—made providing service too difficult. It's a loss for the commuters Ofo targeted on the Far South Side—an area underserved by the dominant Divvy network.
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And finally: Say goodbye to plastic straws at Starbucks. Conceding that plastic is a significant factor in ocean pollution—and even though straws make up just a small part of that pollution—Starbucks says it'll end the use of plastic straws at all its stores within two years. (The announcement comes just a week after Starbucks' home town of Seattle banned the things.) So if you like 'em, you might want to begin saving them now for personal use later.
I'm Charlie Meyerson and you’re listening to Chicago Public Square.